Simple Homeschooler Mission Statement

This blog, Simple Homeschooler, exists to help mothers with their most important and sacred duty of being managers of their homes. Primarily this means creating a space where her family is loved unconditionally, while at the same time she encourages the family members to take daily steps toward spiritual perfection.

Simple Homeschooler and my First Communion. Create BIG memories.
This is me on the day of my First Holy Communion

our purpose as mothers

As humans we were created to know, love and serve our Heavenly Father in this world so that we can be happy with him in the next. As mothers, the education of our children, both spiritually and academically will help us attain our eternal reward, Heaven, because fulfilling our daily duties requires the sacrificing and unselfish commitment necessary to attain true humility. Each day we die to ourselves a little more and thus move closer to a life in Christ.

The cross and our homes

Embracing our cross means striving for only the best in our homes. From creating a cozy, relaxing atmosphere, to training our children, to supporting our husbands – Trusting in Divine Providence provides that every minute of every day we are granted the opportunity to embrace our crosses for the greater glory of God.

My intention for this blog is to help younger women in the spirit of Titus 2: 3-5. That is, to “encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”

What must we do to serve god

With that in mind, I will write about homemaking, specifically meal planning for large families and minimalism for controlling the clutter and creating a relaxing atmosphere. I will also write about our Traditional Catholic Faith, especially how to celebrate feast days and how to teach our children to love and serve the Lord. Finally, I will give tips on homeschooling. What has worked for us and also what has not worked for us, including scheduling, organizing, curriculum and resources.

i am here for all of you

I encourage all my readers of Simple Homeschooler

Simple Homeschooler believes children need to connect with nature and homeschool moms need a break occasionally
Getting out to explore nature gives everyone a much needed break

to contact me with questions or comments. I will endeavor to answer you each individually as well as address some of your concerns on the blog.

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I pray for you all and wish you joy and peace as we travel the path of Simple Homeschooling.

~Leslie

 

Saint Patrick’s Feast Day in Our Homeschool

homeschooling saint patrick ireland
The day Amanda moved.

We absolutely love celebrating Saint Patrick’s Feast Day!

Sadly, this year we are missing our party planner extraordinaire. This past July Amanda moved all the way across the country. She was the one who really got into this holy day and did it up big. We are going to be hard-pressed to come even close to her zeal for the Patron Saint of Ireland.

SAINT PATRICK FOOD

This year we will still have the standard Beef and Guinness Stew and Irish Soda Bread. We will still break out our Google Playlist of Clancy Brothers and High Kings, plus a new favorite (see below). But there will definitely be an empty space where Amanda used to be. Perhaps a Skype call and some sing-alongs might help. (Wink, wink, Amanda!)

SAINT PATRICK BOOKS

So, what else do I have planned for our homeschool Saint Patrick’s Day this year? Well, there a few new books. We have not read these yet, but are looking forward to adding them to our shelves this coming week.

                                                       

Paddy and the Wolves is actually available for free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription. Look here for Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans and sign up for a free trial. After my free trial I realized that the monthly cost was well worth it for the savings it offered me. See my post on how I use Kindle Unlimited in our homeschool.

We are also trying out this lovely booklet about The Blessed Trinity from Catholic Icing. I decided to give it a try since it is only $3 and I found it to have several great ideas for us to choose from. Songs, drawings, craft ideas and stories. There is quite a bit included in this small book.

teach catholic kids about the trinity Saint Patrick's Day
PDF download Available from Catholic Icing $3.00

 

SAINT PATRICK MUSIC

And, of course, we had to purchase the new Celtic Thunder CD as soon as it was released. This has to be one of the most surprising albums I have listened to in a very long time. The songs range from traditional Irish folk songs to remakes of popular 70s and 80s songs, to broadway show classics. This is also available for unlimited streaming with Amazon (free 30 day trial available) or on your Google Playlist.

celtic thunder X irish music for Saint Patrick's Day
Music for the Feast Day

SAINT PATRICK ART

We absolutely love Nana and her chalk pastel art lessons. We had terrific results with our Advent art projects and are beginning our Spring art lessons. One of the first will be part of the Super Bundle for the Spring Semester. We will be doing the shamrocks along with the video art lesson this week.

While the Spring Semester Super Bundle is worth the price considering it is an entire semester of art lessons for the entire family, the price ($100) may be a little daunting for some of you, especially without having tried the program first. So the Shamrock lesson is also included in A Seasonal Start in Spring Chalk Pastels for only $8. There is also an Easter Chalk Pastels for All Ages that we plan on continuing with for the remainder of March.

So, besides the decorations that we will get from our local Dollar General where Meghan works, that about covers our plans for this year.

SAINT PATRICK DESSERT?

I still need to decide on a dessert. I’m open for suggestions if you would like to send your ideas my way via the comments section or by email. leslie@simplehomeschooler.com I always look forward to hearing from my readers.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Also, please join me on Facebook. I’ve started a private group for followers of my blog and would love to see you there. Follow this link. I’ll be posting pictures of our Saint Patrick’s Day celebration as well as photos our art projects.

~Leslie

Preparing for A Traditional Catholic Baptism

Matthew 28:19 “Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”

Scroll all the way down for a video of our daughter’s Baptism. She is now 12 years old.

Ah, the Sacraments! One of the best parts of being a Catholic!

Amanda’s Baptism 1997

And Baptism… well what better way to welcome a new child into this world than by also erasing all Original Sin and paving his/her way for life in Christ and as a member of the Mystical Body of Christ?

And so, it is with such humble gratitude, that my husband and I find ourselves again asked to be Godparents to a special new little girl that entered our world last week. I was supposed to have been on hand to help her momma give birth. It was a privilege I was very excited about and anxiously looking forward to. But, sadly, the flu finally found our home and I was one of the first to fall prey.

But, Deo Gratias!, labor was fast and easy and the sweet girl arrived surrounded by her parent’s love. And then, surprisingly, we were asked to be godparents!

So I thought I’d reveiw for my readers what it means to be a Catholic godparent?

According to fisheaters.com (emphasis mine)

“In the case of children, the role of the godparent is to be that of “spiritual guardian” who takes up any “slack” in the child’s catechesis, helps ensure that his godchild learns the Faith, and prays for the godchild throughout his life. St. Thomas Aquinas writes in his Summa Theologica III-67-8:

Now it has been stated…that godparents take upon themselves the duties of a tutor. Consequently they are bound to watch over their godchildren when there is need for them to do so: for instance when and where children are brought up among unbelievers. But if they are brought up among Catholic Christians, the godparents may well be excused from this responsibility, since it may be presumed that the children will be carefully instructed by their parents. If, however, they perceive in any way that the contrary is the case, they would be bound, as far as they are able, to see to the spiritual welfare of their godchildren.

This is a very solemn obligation, not one to be entered into lightly. Parents should choose their child’s godparents very carefully and select traditional Catholics who know the Faith, understand the obligations of godparenting, and are willing and able to live up to them. Parents and godparents should work together for the goal of helping the child to know, love, and serve God! During the Rite of Baptism, the godparents will answer for the child, that is, they will make the replies to the questions asked by the priest of the one to be baptized.”

Below is the baptism of our daughter Isabella. Our priest at the time was Fr. Hewko and he gives a wonderful explanation of everything he is doing.

Please keep our new goddaughter in your prayers (name withheld for privacy).

A Catholic Guide To Minimalism by Sterling Jaquith

I’ve discovered a new author! I love it when that happens. Just when I think I’ve exhausted bloggers and authors that pertain to my own life, I come across a fresh face and a whole new world opens up to me.

Sterling Jaquith fits that description. Last week I created a quick post to let my readers know about the book Not of This World: A Catholic Guide to Minimalism that is currently available for free with Kindle Unlimited. I hadn’t read it yet, but was so excited to come across it that just wanted to share as soon as possible. I still have not had time to read the whole thing, but I really like what I have read.

However, Sterling also has a YouTube Channel and podcast! Huge help for a busy mom!

Continue reading “A Catholic Guide To Minimalism by Sterling Jaquith”

Guadalupe: The Miracle and Message Free with Prime

deals (2)

Another Wednesday and another deal post. I will update throughout the day with more deals, but for now, a really terrific one is available free for Prime members. If you are not already a Prime member, you can sign up for a free 30 day trial. 

 

Also, in case you were not aware College Students get 6 months free Prime and EBT Card holders get discounted prime.

Guadalupe: The Miracle and the Message

“In 1531 in Mexico, the Virgin Mary appeared to an indigenous convert named Juan Diego. As a result, our Lady of Guadalupe’s image was miraculously imprinted on Juan Diego’s cloak. Featuring interviews with leading theologians, historians and scientists, this film explores both the inexplicable mysteries behind the image, and the continued relevance of the Guadalupe apparition to the modern world.”

On days when things aren’t going quite as planned (sick baby, sick momma, sudden need for mom to make food for a new baby in our parish), putting on a movie, especially a movie about the saints is one of my go-to resources.

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Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for Us

Name Day Lunches: Quality Time in a Large Family

20170930_132006It has become a bit of a tradition to take each child out to lunch for their Name Days. In the Catholic tradition, a person’s name day occurs on the Feast Day of their patron saint. Typically that is the saint that they were named after, either their first name or their middle name.

We also allow that child to choose a dessert or treat on that day.

The feast day of St. Sophia occurs in September so Saturday was Sophia’s day to go out to a restaurant to have lunch with Mom and Dad. Continue reading “Name Day Lunches: Quality Time in a Large Family”

The War of the Vendee and Children’s Theater

Navis Pictures has released their latest film The War of the Vendee, almost entirely acted by children.  Trailer follows, along with commentary supplied by Navis.  The film tells the story of the the counter-revolution of the people of the Vendee in France during the Reign of Terror unleashed by the French Revolution.  Navis is not producing art for art’s sake.  Rather, they endeavor to restore the true purpose of art; and, what better way to do it than through the purity of children.  May it flourish!

The story of the Vendee:
In 1793, after enduring three and a half years of mounting persecution of the Church by the architects of the French Revolution, a small band of faithful peasants and nobles began a Catholic “counter-revolution”. This is the largely unknown story of the valiant, six year struggle of the people of a small section of western France, to restore their Holy Religion and their King. Steeped in the influence of St. Louis de Montfort, and wearing their rosaries and emblems of the Sacred Heart, their sacrifices resulted in countless martyrdoms, and ultimately won the restoration of religious freedom for all of France. This film is a love-letter to the Vendean people, and was produced to honor the memory of these brave men and women who willingly sacrificed their lives, “for God and King”. This film features stunning performances by an exuberant cast of over 250 young people, and will inspire audiences of all ages with its timeless themes of courage, faith, and love.

About Navis Pictures (from President Jim Morlino):
The impulses to create, to perform, to tell stories, to entertain, to “play make-believe”, I think, run deep in the human soul. When those impulses are channeled and gently directed, wonderful, magical things can happen – things like, St. Bernadette of Lourdes. In this film, and the others we are producing, one can clearly see that most innocent and pure expression of a child’s creative spirit: channeled, directed, and offered back to the Creator Himself, Almighty God.

And so, we are exploring a new genre – Children’s Cinema. My idea is that with a little careful thought and planning, some attention to detail, just a smidgin of simple guidance, and most importantly, an overriding emphasis on the true purpose of art, namely to glorify God, we can make movies that are truly greater than the sum of their parts. None of these kids are professional actors, and most of them have never even had any formal acting instruction, but I believe a child doesn’t need to be taught how to put on a costume and pretend – it just comes naturally.
The kids love watching the finished movies, and they’ll be able to share them with their children some day. But the benefits don’t stop there – I think the idea of Navis Pictures, and especially the films themselves will appeal to just about anyone who appreciates truth, beauty, innocence and joy…

Christmas Activities

Before the Christmas Vigil Mass it has become a family tradition to have a buffet style dinner with shrimp, cheese, and other munchies. After that, we get ready for our candlelight procession.

Preparations for this night begin the day before when we decorate our tree and then close off the Christmas Room. No peeking allowed! The room remains sealed until after our procession.

We begin by lining up, youngest to oldest, in our family room. Dad lights everyone’s candles and we carefully walk through the hallway towards the Christmas Room, being careful not to set anyone’s hair on fire. (Yes, we did have a brief accident one year, but I thought fast and put the fire out quickly. No one was hurt, but we learned that burnt hair stinks!)

This year, Sophia, the youngest, carried the Baby Jesus to his creche.. Joseph read the gospel account of the Nativity from St. Luke. And then the Christmas Room was revealed. After we entered we sang some more carols, including Happy Birthday, and then we began opening gifts.

Generally, after everyone has opened a few of their own gifts, we get ready to go to the Vigil Mass. We assist at a Traditional Latin Mass and our chapel is usually decorated tastefully and beautifully for the birthday of Our Savior.

Thomas’ First Christmas
The Christmas Room

Before the Procession to the Christmas Room

Josh and His New Sword
Sophia With The Baby Jesus
Singing Christmas Carols by Candlelight
Mary Catherine, Joshua and Therese

More Carols around the Baby Jesus’ Crib

Family Picture Time